Five Minimalist Pet Safe Houseplants

Last month I began this blog, finally, after wanting to begin one for a while. To keep in line with my mission of providing pet owners with info about indoor plants to buy I wrote this post about pet safe houseplants. I figured it was time for another installment; another five more plants to buy, woohoo!

I’m a millennial, so I like things to be categorized, honest, and to lend some kind of inspiration to improve my interior decor. Considering I am in the middle of KonMari (from the “Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” book by Marie Kondo, please read if you have not) I’m into minimal plants that offer a discreet elegance, simplicity, and do not crowd my house (of which all contents are being judged). I made my way to my garden center and captured a list of five minimalist pet safe houseplants that I think make the cut.

 1 :: Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie
Creeping Charlie :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

So, in the USA at least, Creeping Charlie is considered a weed. I consider it a two-face plant (sorry, Batman reference). Outdoors, left to its own devices, it strangles other plants, is a beast to get rid of, and inevitably, becomes wrapped around the ankles of innocent gardeners. Indoors, it sits suspended from the ceiling with vines hanging non-threateningly.  I promise it’s the same plant.

Creeping Charlie

2 :: Bromeliad

Bromeliad
Bromeliad :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I am going to vouch for these even though I actually do not own any Bromeliads. I love them, really I do. Their simple plants with a bright flower, plus they are generally easy to care for and actually don’t mind lower light locations (read: tolerant). Why don’t I have any? I’ve tried. My cats eat them. They bite the leaves, so little toothy marks remain, they knock them out of the pretty little planters and kick them around the house. It’s just awful…but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be on this list because I have jerk-cats.

Bromeliad
Bromeliad :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

3 :: Succulents

Haworthia
Haworthia :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I’m going to be slightly general here. Many the succulents seen in big-box stores (like Lowe’s, Whole Foods, etc) are actually pet safe, including the cutie twins seen in my photo below.  I actually really like compact succulents, which are self contained and slow growing. Check labels, but you are good to go with:

  • Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum), which is excellent in a hanging planter.
  • Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum), tightly knit succulents that do not resemble neither hens nor chicks.
  • All types of Echeveria, usually there are a few types available. My favorite is the tradition Blue Echeveria.
  • Zebra Haworthia fasciata, one of my favorites but kind of a cat magnet.
  • Lithops; these are freakish and look like pebbles. They’re 100% pet safe though.
Pet Safe Succulents
Succulents :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

4 :: Hoya

Hoya Plant
Hoya :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I’m a big lover of Indian culture (well, curry and Pashminas to start) so when I discovered a plant called “Hindu Rope Plant” I was curious, and golly-gee it actually. looks. like. a. rope. Like, that’s so cool.

There are two types of Hoya I have seen. One is the Hindu rope (below)  and the other is a somewhat regular looking plant in comparison, called wax hoya, which is usually variegated (above). Both kinds are amazing, pet friendly and safe, and a real conversation starter.

Hoya Plant
Hoya :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

5 :: Zebra Plant

Zebra Plant
Zebra Plant :: 5 Minimalist Indoor Plants Safe for Pets

I had been trying to find a Zebra Plant for years. I was going to purchase one online, but with shipping and travel in February, I didn’t think it would make it and it would put me out $30. One day, a sad looking plant appeared on a discount cart at the hardware store, $2. A Zebra plant! I was so excited. These striped beauties bloom yellow flowers, which look stunning in just about any room, in a simple white pot. It’s like a little work of art. And totally pet friendly too!  

Hoya Plant
Dickman Farms, Auburn NY.

Hopefully this list is just as or more helpful as my first. More installments to come! 🙂

10 Indoor Planters for Every Animal Lover

As much as I love plants, I also love a good planter. I love planters shaped as animals even more. I love an animal-shaped planter filled with a plant the most. To achieve this highest love, I collected ten of the cutest planters available right now that are perfect for an animal-plant-loving home.

Ceramic Chubby Cat Planter from Burruntando on Etsy, $28.

I would buy this based on the title alone – who doesn’t need need a chubby cat planter? Currently I have two actual chubber cats, but they aren’t tolerant of me putting plants on their backs. Buy this adorableness from Etsy.

Deer Head Planter from brooklynglobal on Etsy, $23.

Despite being vegetarian, I like taxidermy. I like faux taxidermy even more and have a few “deer” antlers around my house. This planter completes my desire to have a taxidermy planter hybrid on my wall. Buy this and other animals on Etsy.

Ceramic Turtle Planter from West Elm, $20

Since I have two hedgehogs, I quickly bought West Elm’s hedgehog planter that has since sold out and become unavailable. This turtle is pretty cute, too.

Plump Fox Planter from MinkyMooCeramics on Etsy, $53.

A perfect desk mate, this fox planter is the bee’s knees! Check out all of their other cuties from minkymoo on Etsy.

Vintage Style Pig Planter from claylicious on Etsy, $32

As someone who loves all midcentury things, this Mexican-inspired hog was traditionally a piggy bank, but looks perfect on a danish desk. I love the slight texture of this little guy and he’s under $50 on Etsy.

Horse Tabletop Planter from Threshold for Target, $7

Super cute? Check. Minimal and white? Check. Under $10? Target, I love thee. 

Flower Bud Dog Vase by Eleonor Bostrom, $58

This is one of my favorite planters on the list. I urge anyone and everyone to browse Eleonor Bistro’s work. Her creatures are made up of simple and clever lines, housing an imperfection that I adore. Her work is special order only, but it’s so worth it.

Supervillian Cat Planter by Erinnies on Etsy, $18

Batman is catman in this simple square planter worthy of every kids room, office, or man cave. Find him on Etsy.

Three-legged Rabbit Planter by beardbangs in Etsy, $40

Beardbangs‘ super sweet and whimsical planters are one of my favorites. Look at that little bunny face!

Pelican Planter by WhiteFauxTaxidermy on Etsy, $50

Again, speaking of taxidermy, whitefauxtaxidermy is one of my top shops on Etsy. I own the fabulous bear head and the quality and look is flawless. Buy this pelican.

Indoor Plants: The Rubber Tree

Rubber Tree
10 of 10 rubber trees and 1 of 2 cats.

Since my blog is about pet safe plants, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the rubber tree, or the most popular kind as indoor plants, ficus elastica.

Rubber Tree Ficus Elastica
Ficus elastica, about 3 months old.

I always have at least one of my rubber trees in my photos, as I have over 10 of them in various  parts of my house. Although not 100% pet safe, rubber trees have become one of my favorite houseplants. My cats won’t touch or eat them at all, which is why I began to take a liking to them. Plus they are somewhat easy to take care of, grow quickly and are so unique – especially the giant fleshy leaves and their pink underbelly. My biggest rubber tree is Rudy, who has had quite the growth spurt the last year. I always knew my children would be taller than me one day….

Ficus elastic / Rubber Tree
Harvey amongst the rubber forest.

I mentioned the aren’t totally pet safe – well, here is why. If you own one of these, you may have already encountered a milky liquid that comes out of the leaf it is punctured or taken off. This is partially why it’s called a rubber tree – that sap sticks to you and feels like rubber. Naturally if a cat or dog takes a nibble on the leaves, they would have quite a bit of oral discomfort, so they are labeled unsafe for pets for that reason.

Rubber tree
At Dickman Farms in FLX, NY.

Nibbling is highly unlikely primarily because they don’t actually look like leaves. My cat has no interest in eating something tough, plasticy, and awful tasting. Fast forward, now I have 10 Rudys and my cats still don’t care.

Rubber tree
Variegated (and tiny!) ficus elastica.

A pet safe cousin to the ficus elastica is Pepperomia, which is 100% safe for pets; they’re smaller and sometimes called “american rubber plant” or “baby rubber plant.” A toxic member of the ficus family is the ficus benjamina, which can sometimes go by “Indian rubber plant,” but really looks nothing like a rubber tree at all. This variety is much more toxic, so I avoid this type of ficus altogether.

Peperomia

If you are looking to add a rubber tree to your collection but have cats, check the label to make sure it is either a ficus elastica or a pepperomia, and take it home, monitor your pets for any interest, and you’ll know if you can buy 10 more in the near future.